Petition Closed

To protect the safety and promote the efficient flow of children, parents and neighbors using the Williamsburg/Kensington intersection in light of greatly increased traffic generated by the soon-to-be-constructed Williamsburg Elementary School.

Letter to
Member, Arlington County Board Libby Garvey
Members of the Arlington County Board, Arlington County Manager
County Manager Barbara Donellan
and 5 others
Chair, Arlington County Board Walter Tejada
Vice- Chair, Arlington County Board Jay Fisette
Member, Arlington County Board Mary Hughes Hynes
Member, Arlington County Board Chris Zimmerman
Clerk to the County Board Hope Halleck
We, as registered voters in Arlington County, oppose the current design of Neighborhood Conservation Project NC.514 to be constructed at the intersection of Williamsburg Boulevard and Kensington Street (W/K) at a taxpayer cost of over $200,000. This project was initiated in 2010, following discussion of the design with only 5 adjacent neighbors and a few selected civic association representatives. The hundreds of daily users of W/K were not made aware of the project until late 2012 when a diagram of the proposed changes was included in a presentation on the new Williamsburg Elementary School (WES).

W/K has been designated as the primary gateway for WES traffic. Unless NC514 is halted or significantly changed prior to construction as early as this coming fall, it will be more dangerous and difficult for children and adults, as well as cars to get to school.

Following are specific ways in which NC514 will obstruct and endanger children and parents trying to get to school:

• The primary pedestrian crossing would be built on the eastern side of Williamsburg, directly in the path of cars trying to get to the new school from south and east of WES
• The right turn lane from Williamsburg onto the school side of Kensington would be eliminated
• Cars turning right onto Kensington from Williamsburg would need to make a sharp V angle turn (>120 degrees), which can only be executed safely at very low speed
• Cars turning left onto Williamsburg from the north side of Kensington would make a V angle turn (>120 degrees) across oncoming school and commuter traffic, including cars coming up the hill on Williamsburg from Harrison Street that cannot be seen
• The existing bicycle path coming up the hill on Williamsburg would be abruptly terminated at the 20’ numb at W/K

Alice Bowers, Supervisor of the Crossing Guard Unit has said that a traffic light is needed at W/K for a guard to safely control the movement of vehicles and children walking through the intersection. We strongly agree.

We strongly urge that the current design NC514 be modified to: (1) move the primary pedestrian crossing to the western side of Kensington, (2) maintain the right turn lane from Williamsburg onto Kensington (North), (3) create safer, less extreme turn angles for cars entering and exiting Kensington Street, and (4) prevent abrupt termination of the bicycle lane.
We urge additional improvements to ensure the safety of pedestrians, bicycles and cars at W/K and at the intersection of Kensington and 36th, Streets, such as warning signals and signage and improved striping for crosswalks.

We request that County staff share specific plans at a meeting open to all interested neighbors and WES boundary families, prior to finalizing a revised design and traffic management plan W/K and nearby Williamsburg/36th Street intersections.